Here's What's Happening
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At least 61 senators say they will vote to support a deficit reduction package that will allow the government to continue to borrow, ensuring the Senate will pass the bill and send it to President Barack Obama for his signature.
According to a tally by The Associated Press, 61 senators have said they will vote to support the package, including 40 Democrats, 20 Republicans and independent Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. Twenty senators have said they will oppose it, while the rest are either undecided or haven't stated their position.
The Senate votes the package Tuesday afternoon. Without the legislation, the government's ability to borrow would run out at midnight. The bill is subject to a 60-vote threshold to advance.
So here's a brief re-cap of what's happening right now:
- The Democratic-led Senate set to vote on the deal at noon EDT. The bill will head immediately to President Barack Obama for his signature.
- Senate is debating the measure. It is expected to pass.
- Obama plans no public signing ceremony for the bill. But he is to make a statement at the White House following the Senate votes on the bill. The statement is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. EDT.
- Senate action comes after the Republican-led House of Representatives approved it on Monday night on a bipartisan vote of 269-161.
- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner tells ABC News that the contentious battle over the debt limit and the threat of default had damaged confidence in the economy and that credit rating agencies would "take a careful look" at whether lawmakers have the will to reduce deficits.
- Despite the deal that will increase government borrowing authority through the 2012 presidential election year, Wall Street still worries about a possible downgrade of the U.S. AAA credit rating. U.S. stock indices open lower on Tuesday.
- You can watch the vote live here on CNBC - Click here .
- Update: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other House Democratic leaders will hold a press conference to talk about "job creation" at 1pm in the Capitol
Tuesday, August 2 11:15 AM/ET: Wait, It Doesn't Matter?
If US Debt is Downgraded, Will Anyone Care? (CNBC.com)
The United States could lose its triple-A credit rating from at least one rating agency this year, raising the question: Who cares? Strange as it may sound, a downgrade could resound in financial markets more with a whimper than a bang.
As debate raged in Washington over raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a default, markets had plenty of time to factor in the thinking of Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch on a potential downgrade.
"Market participants have the same information that ratings agencies do," said Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America in New York. "(That information) should already be reflected in interest rates."
Tuesday, August 2 10:50 AM/ET: A Deal Forged By "Rational Adults"
C'mon, we all deserve a little levity. Here's Jon Stewart's take on what's happened so far.
Tuesday, August 2 10:35 AM/ET: This Just In: We're Not Happy.
Poll: Americans Deeply Dissatisfied with Congress; Eager to Elect Fresh Faces (NationalJournal.com)
Amidst a tumultuous fight over raising the debt ceiling, Americans are deeply dissatisfied with Washington and eager to elect fresh faces to Congress, raising warning flags for Democrats and Republicans alike. The poll showed discontent at about the same levels seen in the 2006 and 2010 “wave” elections.
The results appear in the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. When asked if they think “most members of Congress have done a good enough job to deserve reelection or do you think it’s time to give new people a chance?” 79 percent of respondents said it was time for new people and only 10 percent thought that most members are doing a good enough job to deserve reelection.
Tuesday, August 2 10:20 AM/ET: Taking Time to Smell the Roses?
From NBC News:
This afternoon at 12:15 pm, the President will deliver a statement to the press in the Rose Garden. The President's remarks are open press.
Update from NBC News:Per White House officials, the President's remarks from the Rose Garden this morning will be brief ...they will last less than 10 minutes.
Tuesday, August 2 10:15 AM/ET: The Tea Party Republicans "Jihad on the American People"
Tea Party’s War on America (Joe Nocera, NY Times Opinion Page)